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Friday, 17 October 2014

Any more common candidates

Every Sinhala Buddhist and probably many others would have heard of the dialogue between Arhant Mahinda Thera and the king Devanampiya Tissa (not theesham as some Tamil racists used to call him) around the famous mango tree at  Mihintalawa. Pointing out at the Mango tree the Arhant Thera has  asked the king “Oh King what is this tree?”. The King replied “Ven. Thera this is a mango tree” . The Arhant Thera then asked “are there mango trees other than this mango tree?”  The answer was obvious and the King said “yes there are so many other mango trees”. Then the Arhant Thera asked “are there mango trees other than those other mango trees?” The king replied “Yes it is this mango tree”.

There is not only more than one mango tree in the world but we can always refer to one particular mango tree as the mango tree other than other mango trees. If Arhant Mahinda were to visit Sri Lanka  and ask Ranil Wickremesinghe referring to Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera who this Thera is Ranil W would have replied “he is the common candidate”. Then the Thera would have asked Ranil W whether there are other common candidates Ranil W would  have said there are many other common candidates including Sarath Fonseka and non playing common candidate Anura Dissanayake who dances according to his (Ranil’s) tune.

Then the Arhant Mahinda Thera would have asked are there common candidates other than those other common candidates. Ranil W would not have hesitated to say “why not it is me” . However, unlike in the Mihintalawa dialogue Ranil W was not the original common candidate but the story has changed in the course of more than two thousand three hundred years, during which so much water has flown under the stone bridge over  Malwatu Oya.     

However, Sobhitha Thera the original common candidate is not prepared to give up. He is dreaming of a pivithuru heta (A clean tomorrow) with a new constitution good governance etc., supposedly drafted by Sarath Silva. The Thera has recently attended a meeting where another Thera who could aspire to be a common candidate has come out with certain suggestions  to Mahinda R with of course a threat. It has become the practice of common candidates and aspiring common candidates to come out with suggestions to Mahinda R as there is no point in telling the people that they would implement them once they come to power. It is a foregone conclusion that Mahinda R will contest the Presidential elections in 2015, and poll about 55% of the valid vote. The “nonagatha” period that the UNP is waiting would never arrive as it did not arrive last time when the UNP leaders were in a hotel with Sarath Fonseka waiting for the “nonagatha” between the first count and the second preferential count. If the “nongatha” period dawned in 2010 there would have been a blood bath for many and Sarath Fonseka would have become the President of the country with the blessings of the westerners, though not with that of Ranil W. In 2015 too there would not be a “nonagatha” period and the UNP leaders are advised not to book hotel rooms in advance preparing for “a revolution”.   

We all love a “pivithuru hetak” but will it be more pivithuru than today. From the demands of the “pivithuru hetak” it is clear that it is not so. It appears that there are some members of pivithuru hetak who do not endorse the demands made to Mahinda R. For example what the common candidates do not seem to understand is that executive presidency is not an issue  among the common man. It is an issue of the common candidate but not of the common man.

The common man unlike the common candidate is more concerned with the terrorist movement backed by the westerners. They know of Tamil racism and they are not against each other whether they are Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. They are not against Yal devi going to Jaffna unlike the TNA leaders who are Tamil racists . The TNA is worse than the worst opposition party in the sense that they would not collaborate with the government even if the government does something good for the common man irrespective of whether it is Sinhala or Tamil. Yal Devi is running to Jaffna with the help of Indians though it may have come in the form of a loan. It is true that the Sri Lankan engineers would have built the railway to Jaffna at a lesser cost but the political and social implications of the Indian help is much more than the monetary value of the loan.

The fact that the Indian high commissioner was present at Jaffna going by Yal devi while the TNA MPs were boycotting the Yal Devi should be highlighted in the coming weeks whether one thinks it is pivithuru or not. The pivithuru hetak is not dawn b y common candidates but by common people on either side of Elephant Pass. When Yal Devi passes Elephant Pass that pivithuru hetak is getting closer and closer.

However, it appears that the common candidates and leaders of pivithuru hetak do not understand the way the common man thinks. It is clear that the common man in Jaffna as the common man in Hambantota is with the  President. However the Jaffna man is still not prepared to vote for Mahinda R as they are still under Money Order economy. Those days the public servant who arrived in Colombo from Jaffna used to send money home through money orders and the economy was run by the Colombo establishment. Now it is run by the dispersed Tamils in the western countries and the west manipulates the Jaffna vote through dispersed Tamils.

The government has to think very carefully on this economic nexus as it is a threat to the sovereignty of the people. It is the sovereignty of the common man that is affected though unfortunately through the common man himself. The vote manipulated by the dispersed Tamils is not going to be important in the Presidential elections in 2015, but since the sovereignty could be manipulated through the Money Order economy the government should take all necessary steps to make the Jaffna common man independent of the London common man. It is in this connection the Jaffna farmer and the Jaffna fisherman have to be looked after at the same time establishing new industries in the Jaffna district. The Siddha medicine is another area that has to be developed against the western medicine and the traditional (paramparika) medicine has to be given every encouragement to develop on its own.

The pivithuru hetak organisation under the auspices of some of the common candidates have spelled out that they would defeat Mahinda R if certain demands are not met before the elections for the Presidency. Now one of the demands is connected with abolishing the executive presidency and I remember the JHU expressing the view that the executive presidency helped Mahinda R to defeat Tamil terrorism. As the President himself has said the executive presidency could be abolished if the Tamil leaders including the TNA drop the separatist demand. They are still with the infamous Vadukoddai resolution and unless the TNA drops the Vadukkodai resolution there would not be a pivithuru hetak in any sense of the word.

When pivithuru hetak leaders claim that Mahinda R should be defeated they implicitly say that a person who will help to keep Tamil racism should be voted in. It is strange that they talk of  defeating but not of electing. They should not be allowed to go away with empty statements such as people will be the winner. They should specify the common candidate whom they support, of the plethora of common candidates.

Nalin De Silva